6 September 2005 | cnamed
Leave it up to Monsieur Godard to shoot his first film to directly address the Palastineans since Ici et ailleurs in '76 in Sarajevo with a cast that includes US Marines, Native Americans in full traditional regalia, and Godard himself in counter-sermonizing flesh. At least, and this is much more than trivial record keeping, the maestro has found a way to render his digital photography as gorgeous as the celluloid variety for which he is well known. The quality of the video images takes Notre Musique miles beyond the wan DV sections in Éloge de l'amour. This is all the more interesting considering his response, during the film's central writer's conference, to a question concerning whether or not digital cameras can save cinema. Godard stares into his DV lense and says nothing; the question cannot have an answer other than the one to be provided, immanently, vis-a-vis the unwinding of our collective species activity. Godard, as always, is best when he resists the unavailing temptation to answer the questions which constitute him as one of the most compelling artists of the 20th Century. Though his autodidactic flights of fancy may fail to soar as solidly as before, his discourses remain ultimately profound, his metaphors as unstintingly powerful as ever, his plagiarism as unflappable. He has begun to rely again on Borges, which is always good, and there is much less Merleau-Ponty. The only major flaw of the film is the opening section "Hell" (yes, Dante is backstage here folks), in which the montage is more of a groantage, in the manner of a Baraka (God no!) more than anything Eisenstein might recognize as dialectical. "Heaven", however, is wonderful. All Godard does is take the US Marine anthem at its word.